When Cameron Diaz, a type-A corporate attorney — you know this because she wears power skirts and taps officiously on a laptop in a Manhattan skybox office the size of a swimming pool — gets swept off her feet by a dashing businessman (Game of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), it all seems too good to be true. Because of course, it is: It turns out he’s got a wife in Connecticut (Leslie Mann) and a barely-legal blond (Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton) in the Hamptons.
Mann, a maniac in floral capri pants, actually makes her mannerisms work here; she’s so stunned by her husband’s betrayal that she latches onto Diaz like a kewpie-doll barnacle, and the movie becomes an inspired oddball buddy comedy for a good half hour, until the pair track down Upton and all three — ”the wife, the lawyer, the boobs” — join forces to take Coster-Waldau down. That’s when the movie (directed by Nick Cassavetes, probably best known for The Notebook) gets sillier, and a lot more slapstick. Yes, the guy’s a cheating asshat, but do we really need Wile E. Coyote tricks like laxatives in his Scotch and female hormones in his morning smoothie?
Nicki Minaj, as Diaz’s ruthlessly bodacious assistant, and Taylor Kinney, as Mann’s sane, handsome brother, both have nice turns, but The Other Woman really is, in its own broad-strokes way, about just these women, and female friendship. Sisterhood comedies, as rare as they are in the testosterone glut of sequels and superheroes, have been done smarter and better. Still, this one has its own wonky charm and intermittent moments of genuine, depraved hilarity; it’s like Bridesmaids drawn in crayon. B-